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DTH firms violating TRAI norms set to face action

Months after coming out with a new regulatory framework for DTH and cable television sector, common people are still struggling with operators who are not passing on the benefits to the consumers. Taking a tough stance, the TRAI is contemplating strict action against several MSOs and cable operators for trying to create roadblocks for regarding viewers’ right to choose.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has warned of strict action against those cable TV and DTH players who are found violating its new tariff order and regulatory regime. The regulator has also promised to shortly begin audit of subscriber management and other IT systems of errant operators. The industry also backed the tough measures being proposed against errant DTH and cable operators.

The TRAI has directed Dish TV India to comply with the provisions of the new framework for broadcasting and cable TV services, acting on consumer complaints pertaining to the operators’ specific offering and grievance redressal helpline.

As per complaints, Dish TV is forcibly offering a bouquet of free-to-air channels with no choice to subscribers and without their consent. This is in addition to the channels opted for by the subscribers and the following message is being displayed: This is a free to air bouquet at no extra charge. If one has selected any pay-channel, then this bouquet will not impact their NCF (network capacity fee). Most of the times, the consumers are not able to contact the toll-free number of Dish TV India to express their grievance. Now, therefore, the Authority, in exercise of its power, has directed Dish TV India to resolve the issues.

TRAI has also pulled up Bharti Telemedia on similar grounds.

RS Sharma Chairman, TRAI
“Consumer choice and consumer interest are non-negotiable and cannot be compromised; the companies not adhering to rules will have to face the consequences.”
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